Traffic Counts

It’s important to know how many people are biking, walking, running, and rolling on the trails and bike lanes we build.

Why? It tells funders that their investments are being used. It tells us what positive health impacts these projects can have in a community. Without these traffic counts, we can only assume that what we’re doing is worthwhile.

We’d rather prove it.

To do that, we are working with our Coalition partners to get automated counters installed with new projects.  The Dequindre Cut extension will have bike and pedestrian counters at three locations. The Cass Avenue bike lanes being installed later this year will incorporate counters. There will even be two electronic kiosks along Cass that display the daily and annual counts in real-time.

Eco TUBES portable bike counterThrough a generous grant from DALMAC, the Coalition was able to purchase two portable bike counters. These will let us quickly take on-road and trail counts. We especially look forward to taking before and after counts on roads getting bike lanes.

All of this count data will be fed into a centralized web database which we will share with our members and SEMCOG. We have had preliminary discussions on how this data might be integrated with national trail count efforts.

We also applaud the U.S. Department of Transportation for recognizing the importance of counting bicycles and pedestrians.

When we have more accurate data, we can make better decisions and solve problems more effectively for those traveling on foot and on bikes. That leads to improved safety, and that’s an outcome we can all live with.


  1. Any suggested sources to learn more about how these function? Do the counter tubes cover enough traveling surface space to sense cyclists that aren’t riding in bike lanes or even within six inches of a bike lane?

    • The best place to start may be the Eco Counter web site. Our counters are the ECO Tube variety. While we’re not experts on this (yet), we learned you could run the tubes across the entire road or just across a bike lane/trail. They discuss this on their web site.

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